Finance

Crude oil declines despite US supply drop

Crude oil declined in price Thursday after an unexpectedly large drop in U.S. stockpiles was offset by rising supplies of refined fuels.

Benchmark U.S. oil for July delivery was down 42 cents to $102.22 a barrel at 0750 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 2 cents to close at $102.64 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 25 cents to $108.16 a barrel. The Energy Department reported Wednesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by an unexpectedly wide margin of 3.4 million barrels last week. That normally would push prices higher but supplies of diesel and other refined fuels rose and demand was weak.

A report from payrolls processor ADP that U.S. hiring slowed in May also pushed down energy prices. In other energy futures trading on Nymex: — Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $2.934 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 3.6 cents to $4.676 per 1,000 cubic feet. — Heating oil shed 0.4 cent to $2.852 a gallon.

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